“Seven People Dancing”
The New Yorker hosted a discussion about a previously unpublished Langston Hughes short story with Arnold Rampersand, who wrote a two-volume biography of the Harlem Renaissance poet, and first discovered the unpublished story thirty years ago. The story, “Seven People Dancing,” explores themes of sexuality and expression:
I think that his cruelly comic, or comically cruel, vision of humanity is at play here in a dominant way. Hughes has a measure of sympathy for his characters, but his clinical and yet satirical instinct takes over and asserts itself, in a mixture of near-bitterness and humor that speaks perhaps to a profound sense of loneliness, isolation, and possible impotence on his part.